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Technical meeting with IMF to determine future of Pakistan’s programme: Ayesha Pasha

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ISLAMABAD(APP): Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Ayesha Ghous Pasha on Wednesday said that Finance Minister Ishaq Dar had a virtual conversation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Mission Chief Nathan Porter, and the IMF Executive Board might meet at any time today.

After technical meeting with the IMF, the things would get clear about future of the programme, she said while talking to media persons after attending the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue here.

She said that the government had told the Fund that the purpose of the budget was to bring economic growth.

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The minister said in the meeting, the financial team would try to convince the IMF about the government’s strategy.

She said the IMF had questioned many things and sought clarification on certain items regarding the budget.

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She said the fund would also hold talks with Power Division and State Bank officials.

The IMF will also discuss the exchange rate and policy rate with the State Bank, she added.

Earlier, the senate body approved the proposed changes in the finance bill 2023 including parts of solar invertors, lithium batteries, solar cell manufacturing equipment.

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The customs department informed the committee that the parts of solar invertors, lithium batteries, solar cell manufacturing equipment were included in the bill for first time with zero percent custom duty.

Senator Saadia Abbasi said that to encourage the solar panel manufacturing, the board must have defined a certain time period of this relief to proper build an industry.

The committee met here under the chairmanship of Senator Saleem Mandviwalla on 3rd consecutive day to discuss and approve several tax proposals under Finance Bill 2023.

The committee also approved the proposed zero percent custom duty on inputs for pharmaceutical industries for cancer medicine which included Gefitinib and Caspian (caspofungin 50 mg and 70 mg injection).

The body considered and approved zero percent custom duty on the import of paper having specification 60 to 90 gsm for printing of Holy Quran.

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The committee also approved the zero percent custom duty on import of diapers, sanitary napkins by manufacturers.

The committee also unanimously proposed to withdraw 10 percent Federal Excise Duty (FED) on Juice industry.

The official of juice industry informed the committee that around 45 percent sales was declined due to increase in FED and also no sufficient increase had been witnessed in the tax revenue.

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